Learning to Handle (and Even Enjoy) the One-Year Job

Kristopher F. Fletcher (Louisiana State University)

Since an increasing number of people in our field find themselves taking one or more temporary jobs before being hired for a tenure-track position, it’s important that we shift our perception of such jobs and look at them not as a setback and instead as a part of our career development. And, like any other phase of our career, the more clearly we plan for it, the more we can get out of it. To this end, my aim is to show how the one-year job can be a valuable part of an academic career in Classics.

My aim is to demystify the one-year job and thus help people work such positions into their career plan. The first element is to lay out what can be expected of you and what you can expect, and then outline a series of things that you can hope to get out of your one-year experience. The obvious areas of discussion involve learning how to become a professional classicist: taking the next step in developing as a teacher, finding the balance between teaching and research, and learning how to be a colleague. The less obvious – though equally important – topic is to how to make the one-year work in terms of your larger career and your ongoing job search, not only in the application and interview processes, but also in helping you figure out at what kind of school you’d like to teach.

I will end by addressing the more personal aspects of having a one-year job, including advice on how to deal with moving so regularly, and its financial and psychological effects. The psychological aspect deserves special attention, and part of my purpose will be to reinsure people that the system does work, and will work for them – though they need to have a sense of humor. It’s all too easy to view any job that is non tenure-track as a failure or a setback, so my overall aim is to combat such a perspective to show how this now-common situation can work to your advantage.

This site is maintained by Samuel J. Huskey (webmaster@camws.org) | ©2008 CAMWS